Thanks to a last-minute invite from The Broadmoor, I attended last night's Venetucci Pumpkin Ale party in the West Lobby Bar that we told you about in yesterday's Side Dish column.
The star of the show was of course Bristol Brewing Company's beer:
It was nice to see Venetucci farmer Susan Gordon in attendance, along with folks from the Pikes Peak Community Foundation. The foundation oversees the farm, which is the recipient of proceeds from the beer's sale each year.
Also awesome was to see a totally young crowd — early 30s, tops — comprising the remainder of guests. The fair, $35 ticket price (considering unlimited eats in addition to a 22-ounce bomber per person) clearly made the Broadmoor more accessible to that younger demographic. (Though in fact, the West Lobby Bar boasts a pretty affordable menu all the time now.)
The atmosphere was appropriately casual for the imbibing of beer, with chef Greg Barnhill cooking at a small service station set up in the lobby's corner.
Barnhill, in tribute to the beer but also because he's a normal user of Venetucci meat and produce on Charles Court's menu, included other fresh ingredients from the farm in his cooking.
In sautéed shrimp and scallops with vegetables, he incorporated Venetucci herbs, and in another light, lovely stir-fry of sorts, the star ingredient was house-made sausage from Venetucci pork.
After going from table-to-table serving a steaming spiced caramel popcorn finished with liquid nitrogen, he again reached for the minus 320-degree liquid (favorite play toy of many chefs that are into molecular gastronomy) and for all who cared to watch up-close, he hand-whipped some pumpkin ice cream with a blend of typical pumpkin pie spices and a kick of whiskey. Fun and tasty performance.
Pick up next week's Indy on Wednesday, Nov. 23 (out one day early because of Thanksgiving), and turn to our Dine & Dash column for a glimpse of a plate off of the West Lobby Bar's newly released menu. It's probably the last item you'd expect to find at a five-star hotel.